My one month journey to USA was wonderful. I had fun and I got very valuable and learning experiences with individuals with roots from various nations. It was great to share my knowledge of Finnish Karelian wind instruments with so many people. I’m grateful for everyone I got to talk to, spend time and work with. I’m so happy for it.
Thanks to my hosts and other wonderful people in Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New York, Canadian province of Ontario and Michigan. Dear cousin Annuli and her family made me feel most welcome. Gordon’s Jazz Crawl in Harlem clubs was awesome: I played bock horn and a humming pipe in Paris Blues Jazz Club with The House Band. I really enjoyed my time in Ecovillage at Ithaca. The Gorge trail at Watkins Glen was stunning, and gazing Niagara Falls was capturing. The days in Strawbale Studio with the artistic and highly effective Deanne Bednar and the other residents was fashinating. Together learning to finish cob houses by doing was something special.
The most grateful I’m to Jim Kurtti and the wonderful staff at Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan. Without him and the connections I got thanks to him I wouldn’t have explored the world this much and become so much richer in many ways. Thanks to all great participants who attended my workshops. Some pictures can be seen in FAHC fb-page. Joyful Pete Benda from Utah paid great attention to the ancient wind instruments from the first introduction and took every class he could. It was so much fun to build reed pipes, birch bark rings and play ancient music instruments also with inspired elderly at Senior Days at Batawagama Camp. A poet was sitting next to me while eating. After chatting a while, Pennies from heaven and a reedpipe changed hands. Visiting Ojibwe tradition bearer Jerry Jondreau and his family in Baraga reservation was a cultural gift for me. It was great that he shared his know-how in the Harvesting birch bark -workshop. It was nice to meet many Americans with Finnish roots. Pekka became an outsider artist after retirement. I was lucky to learn how to make a humming bird of a piece of wet wood, hear old stories and Finnish songs. The communities related to FAHC and hiking and dancing are very enpowering.
It was inspiring to witness many American people following their passion. Ginger and Michael have created SewCranky store and they give ”Hands on history” – workshops. Antique items really don’t have to belong to the past. They can become a path to learn oneself better, express uniqueness and lead to fullfilment and moments of ssuccess. Just like ancient wind instruments. The world can be explored and connections can be created in so many ways.